The Grandmaster is the ruler of Sakaar who has a fascination with gaming and enjoys manipulating lesser life-forms in the Contest of Champions. When Grandmaster took Thor as his new contender, he was soon horrified to learn that Thor already knew his current champion, Hulk. As Grandmaster feared, Thor soon escaped Sakaar with Hulk, resulting in a new uprising which resulted in him losing his position over the people of Sakaar.
Fascination with Champions
Grandmaster was born shortly after the beginning of the universe alongside his brother, Taneleer Tivan. While his brother became obsessed with collecting objects of all kinds, Grandmaster became obsessed with manipulating life-forms into fighting each other nearly to death.
Ruling over Sakaar
One day, Grandmaster became the ruler of the planet Sakaar. On the planet, he became a tyrant towards his people, but they loved him only because of the Contest of Champions, a gladiatorial event held in the arena. Grandmaster took under his wing one of the Valkyries after the massacre of the Valkyrie by Hela. Scrapper 142 became not only the servant of Grandmaster but also his bodyguard alongside Topaz.
Amongst those Grandmaster imprisoned for his Contest of Champions included Beta Ray Bill, Ares, Bi-Beast, Dark-Crawler, Man-Thing, Korg, Miek, Biff, Hajo, Roscoe, Tasba, and Doug. In 2015, Hulk arrived on Sakaar. Hulk later became the new champion in the contest, and since, he became truly beloved although he became a prisoner.
After encountering Hela in Norway, Loki asks Volstagg to transport them back to Asgard. However, Hela kicks Loki and Thor out of the Bifrost Bridge, causing them to crash land on Sakaar. Because time flows differently in Sakaar, Loki arrives two weeks before Thor, even though less than a day has passed for Thor.
As time went on, Loki managed to win Grandmaster's favor, becoming his new ally. As Scrapper 142 discovered a new champion, Thor was taken through a tunnel, as it ends, he was jolted from seeing Grandmaster and Topaz. As Grandmaster told Scrapper 142 if he was any kind of a fighter, Thor demanded to be released as he is stated that he is not for sale. However, Grandmaster proceeded on taking Thor for ten million units and was pecked on the cheek.
Looking for any abilities, Grandmaster wanted to ask Thor who he was, only to see him ripped off his handcuffs once again and proclaimed to be the God of Thunder, which Grandmaster only proclaim to observe only sparkles. Grandmaster then took Thor to meet his cousin Carlo, who attempted to make his escape from Sakaar only to be captured. Momentarily making Carlo desperately begged for his life, Grandmaster pardoned him, only to reveal that pardoned him from life, using the Melt Stick to kill him.
While haven't properly introduced himself and explained the Contest of Champions, Grandmaster threw a party as a DJ, where Thor noticed Loki was there alive from their previous encounter. Grandmaster asked why Loki was whispering to Thor, and told them that time worked differently around Sakaar, being millions of years old. Loki then insisted that he had never met Thor before he added that they're brothers. However, Loki clarified that he was adopted.
Questioning if he was any kind of a fighter, Grandmaster was threatened by Thor for his own freedom, only to mock him for his powers. Making a deal, Grandmaster told Thor that the only way he could have his freedom is if he defeated the Contest of Champions' ultimate champion, which Thor was confident, he could do before being taken away to his cell where the gladiators have fought and rested in.
Hulk vs. Thor
While the audience continued cheering at the arena, Grandmaster introduced Thor as the Lord of Thunder while his champion prepared to arrive. As he built up his entrance, Grandmaster had finally introduced his fellow champion was none other than Hulk, whom Thor had previously acquainted since the Battle of Sokovia.
As Loki watched from above, he happily awaited the arrival of the Champion: However, it had turned out that the champion was Hulk. To his shock and horror, he had attempted to leave Sakaar, only for Grandmaster to stop him as he insisted that Loki stay and watch the fight with him. Once Thor noticed Hulk was revealed as the champion, Grandmaster was told of his close ties with him. Grandmaster watched as Thor and Hulk furiously battled each other.
When Thor had managed to land a heavy blow against Hulk, he attempted to use Black Widow's lullaby to calm him down, only for Hulk to smash Thor into the ground, much to Loki's delight. Grandmaster kept on watching as Thor and Hulk continued fighting, until Thor unexpectedly gained a sudden surge of his power, allowing his entire body to be engulfed with lightning as he struck Hulk and damaged his Sakaaran Battle Armor.
Unwilling to watch his beloved Champion defeated, however, Grandmaster activated Thor's Obedience Disk, which then caused him to fall down to the floor, allowing Hulk to finally win the duel, much to his deviant plan for him. After the arena fight, Thor continued to be held captive by the Grandmaster, sharing the same room with Hulk. Soon, he heard the news of Thor's escape, believing that he captured his beloved champion.
Announcing the news, Grandmaster ordered his people to celebrate his Champion in order for him to get him back. Becoming furious about their escape and demanded that they be found, Grandmaster ordered Scrapper 142 and Loki to find Thor and Hulk, but the pair come to blows and Loki forces her to relive the deaths of her fellow Valkyrie at the hands of Hela; she decides to help Thor, taking Loki captive to prove her goodwill.
Unbeknownst of him, a certain group then liberated the other gladiators who, led by Korg and Miek, staged a revolt. Discovering the news of a revolution, Grandmaster questioned Topaz of how something of this scale could happen, notified that the Obedience Disks have been deactivated. Grandmaster ordered the troops before the group had the chance of escaping.
Revolution in Sakaar
- "I'm proud of you all, this revolution has been a huge success. Yay us! Pat, pat on the back. Pat on the back. Come on. No? Me, too. 'Cause I've been a big part of it. Can't have a revolution without somebody to overthrow! So, ah, you're welcome."
Using a holographic projection, Grandmaster announced that the Lord of Thunder has escaped and ordered the people and his bodyguards to not let him leave the planet. Thor used the Commodore to head to the Devil's Anus. Topaz and the Grandmaster's bodyguards chase him, Bruce Banner, and Valkyrie as they manage to avoid Grandmaster's guards and escape from Sakaar. Loki is soon found by the gladiators.
After the great uprising, Grandmaster is ultimately defeated by the people, and he confronts his subjects, who are still fighting the revolution started by the gladiators. Trying to set the record straight, Grandmaster claimed that the revolution was a tie, noting that he was an integral part of their uprising since without him, they would have nothing to rebel against.
Grandmaster is very eccentric, described as a hedonist, a pleasure-seeker, an enjoyer of life, as seen when Valkyrie tells that one of his ships is a pleasure vehicle for orgies. Additionally, Grandmaster also enjoys dancing, being a very skilled dancer.
Grandmaster is also a charming individual, knowing how to act calm and almost laid-back during dangerous and intense situations, such as when he was surrounded by several scavengers without any protection and tried to trick them into standing down by calling their endeavor a "draw". He makes sure to give respect and reward to those who please him and work for him, as seen by the extravagant living quarters given to his champion, Hulk.
Despite his friendly demeanor, he is also a ruthless tyrant, capturing and usually executing anyone who breaks his rules or tries escaping him, as seen when he executed his cousin, Carlo for committing high treason and attempting to escape. This is somewhat contrasted by his even-temper and sense of rationale, demonstrated when he declared merely interrupting him was not enough reason to justify ordering an execution. He did not like oppressive words, like "slave", as it actually made him feel bad for how he treated his prisoners.
Another aspect of his personality is that the Grandmaster is someone who cheats in games, so that only that champion wins and no one else had to venture to hate his champion; as demonstrated when, during the Duel in the Grand Arena, the Grandmaster activated the Obedience Disk on Thor to make sure that Hulk did not lose, once he discovered that Thor's powers could have defeated his beloved champion.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: Grandmaster has an extraordinarily long lifespan, stating himself to be millions of years old.
- Telepathy: Grandmaster has the ability to read people's minds.
- "This is my Melting Stick. Yeah, if people displease me, I can melt them."
- Melt Stick: The Melt Stick is Grandmaster's weapon of choice, using it to melt those who displease him like Carlo. Despite taking great pleasure in using the Melt Stick, Grandmaster insisted that it only be used for capital offenses, refusing to execute Loki for merely interrupting him during their exchange despite Topaz offering him the weapon.
- Obedience Disk: Grandmaster had used the Obedience disks to force all of his own gladiators to participate during the Contest of Champions, using the Disk to disable Thor to ensure Hulk would be victorious.
- Commodore: Grandmaster mainly used this ship for parties and orgies.
- Statesman: Grandmaster formerly owned the Statesman, a massive spaceship, that was later used by Loki and the Sakaaran Rebellion to escape Sakaar.
- In the comics, the Grandmaster, along with the Collector, is one of the Elders of the Universe. In a competition with the Cosmic Entity Death, he captured various heroes from Earth and forced them to fight against each other. He was also the custodian of the Mind Stone before Thanos took it for the Infinity Gauntlet.
Behind the Scenes
- Jeff Goldblum described the character as "a hedonist, a pleasure-seeker, an enjoyer of life and tastes and smells." He also said that director Taika Waititi encouraged improvisation in order for Goldblum to "make the character his own".
- Jeff Goldblum revealed on an interview that the Grandmaster was born shortly after the Big Bang and is 14 million years old; however, the Big Bang occurred 13.7 billion years ago.
- Unlike his appearance in the comics, the Grandmaster does not have blue skin. This is because the filmmakers did not want to detract from Jeff Goldblum's personality by concealing his appearance, especially since Goldblum had already played a blue-colored character in Earth Girls Are Easy.
- Jeff Goldblum stated that the Grandmaster survived the events of Avengers: Infinity War, saying: "You can't kill me, I'm like a vampire."
- Jeff Goldblum has expressed interest on reprising his role as the Grandmaster in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Thor: Ragnarok
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Going Green with Jeff Goldblum
- ↑ Kevin Feige Reveals Thor: Ragnarok's Biggest Easter Egg
- ↑ Thor: Ragnarok Post-credits Scene
- ↑ JEFF GOLDBLUM Describes MARVEL'S GRANDMASTER As 'A Hedonist, A Pleasure-Seeker'
- ↑ Thor 3 Ragnarok - B-Roll, Bloopers and Behind the Scenes (2017)
- ↑ WHY JEFF GOLDBLUM DOESN'T RESEMBLE MARVEL COMICS' GRANDMASTER IN THOR: RAGNAROK
- ↑ Grandmaster is still alive after Avengers: Infinity War according to Jeff Goldblum
- ↑ https://twitter.com/SYFYWIRE/status/1165042559477002240